All I want for Christmas…
Neil Lyndon draws up a Christmas list of what he is – and is not – after this year
Unfortunately, Christmas presents are always a mixed bag. Here’s my list of the most unwelcome motoring gifts (likely to be found on eBay by noon on Boxing Day) followed by the presents I am (not so) silently praying for.
TOP 10 MOST UNWELCOME PRESENTS
1Grow2Any3“ 4 The5TheSet (Was £69.99 now £34.99 from www.Halfords.com) – In “luxury-feel, leather-look material”.
8TopYour Own Sports Car (was £1.99, now £1.49 on Find Me a Gift.co.uk) – “Simply pop the car into a pot of water and watch it grow! Complete with tinted windows, this beauty is all about style, class and expanding foam. Won’t scratch or dent.’’ road atlas – Are you addicted to spousal disharmony? For £120 you can get a fully functioning plug-in satnav system. I am the Stig” T-shirt (£13.95) – anag: “I am the Gits”. Top Gear Collection: Box Set of DVDs (RRP £29.99 reduced to £7.68 on Amazon) – Or indeed anything from that trio who turn cars and the male sex into objects of boredom and ridicule. Professional 150piece Socket Set with Ratchet and Combination Spanners (was £199.99 now £99.99 from www.Halfords. com) – Even allowing for the “fully polished vanadium steel for superior performance” with which they are apparently made. Look Seat Cover
6Leather-7DeluxeString Back Driving Gloves (£35.99 from Greycar. com) – “Tan kid leather palm with Ecru cotton crochet back” so retro-naff as to be almost irresistible… almost. Gear Desktop Car Football (£29.99 on www. mensgiftshop.com) – “Race your mini remote control car around and try to capture the ball, then steer it into your opponent’s goal without him stealing it.” May be too simple for anybody over five. Mans: Steve McQueen DVD (£24.95 on www.caagis. com) – The exhaust tailpipes make more engaging noises than the script.
9Le1A10WheelBrightener Mixing Bottle (£2.15 from www. JeremyClarkson.com) – Boasts of himself as the arbiter of cool but has a website selling car-care products like sponges and wax applicator mitts.
TOP 10 GIFTS FOR ACLASSIC CHRISTMAS
classic car – Bentley Continental GT Supersports: £160,000+ two-
2A3A 4Aseater, 200+ mph muscle car, capable of running on ethanol. Posh has already shown the way by giving one to Becks – proving that every man deserves a wife like that. classic motorbike – Honda VFR 1200 (not yet priced) – revolutionary shaft-drive with semi-automatic transmission that will combine comfort and 200mph performance. classic DVD – Trafic by Jacques Tati: Monsieur Hulot bumbles through the definitive satire on men and machines. classic story – Road Race by Richard Williams: nostalgic, wistful, loving account of the Pescara Grand Prix of 1957 – one of the last moments when motor racing was heroically undertaken by poorly paid Corinthians.
5AAutomoblox T9 Pick up (£19.95 from www. boysstuff.co.uk): A proper wooden toy made out of proper wooden building blocks to be assembled cack-handedly and abandoned in despair throughout Christmas afternoon, finally to be triumphantly completed on Boxing Day morning. classic piece of schlock– Grand Prix directed by John Frankenheimer: the best-ever film about motor racing, with the additional entertainment of spotting real race-drivers of the time (Fangio, Phil Hill, Graham Hill, Bruce McLaren, Richie Ginther and others) in supporting roles.
6Aclassic CD or download Short Ride in a Fast Machine by John Adams: minimalism meets joyful exuberance in one of the few contemporary representations of machinery that doesn’t share the forbidding, tight-lipped views of our contemporary Puritans in the eco corner. classic trip – Two tickets for the Monaco Grand Prix, Sunday, May 16 2010 (probably not less than £1,000): the essential pilgrimage for motor racing enthusiasts that must be undertaken once in a lifetime. classic print – 1962 Goodwood TT by Graham Turner (£20 www.directart.co.uk): Jim Clark sliding an Aston Martin Zagato through Madgwick corner, ahead of the Ferrari GTOs of Innes Ireland and John Surtees. Makes you feel almost as if you might be there. I was. classic Boxing Day outing – The annual classic car and bike meet, 9am1pm Romsey town centre, Hants.